Arjen Robben is convinced that there is a bright future ahead for the Dutch national team despite their failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Robben retired from international football on Tuesday night after scoring twice in a 2-0 win over Sweden.
Winger Robben scored twice on Tuesday night as Holland beat Sweden 2-0 in Amsterdam
But the win was not enough to see Holland qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia
Holland have now failed to reach two consecutive major tournaments, having missed out on a place at the 24-team European Championship last year.
They are currently languishing in 29th place in the FIFA World Rankings, but Robben remains convinced that the once-great footballing nation will rise again.
‘If you’re at school, children who play football, you give everything to win. If you don’t succeed, that’s a huge disappointment,’ Robben said. ‘Then it’s okay to be sad, but better times are coming.’
Robben was given a hero’s send-off by Dutch supporters at the Amsterdam Arena.
The Bayern Munich winger, who won 96 caps and scored 37 goals, expressed his gratitude.
He added: ‘That was wonderful. I’m so grateful. I’ve played here for 14 years.
‘I’ve witnessed so many wonderful things. If it’s so well appreciated by the Dutch fans, then I can only be grateful.’
Robben, pictured with his children after the match, has now retired from international football
He thanked the fans, saying: ‘That was wonderful. I’m so grateful. I’ve played here for 14 years’
Bayern Munich star Robben won 96 caps and scored 37 goals during his international career